Returns have made leaps and bounds in the current age of technology. Businesses are standardizing return forms and labels, and placing them in their products so when customers receive them, they can send the product back if they don’t like it. So how does a home business do this? Well, returns for a home business are not quite the same. Return labels have the addresses of depots or warehouses, not homes. You don’t want to give out your home address, but you do want to get back the product that is unwanted so you can sell it to another customer. This poses a number of questions that are not so simple.
Before you think about the practical sense of the return, you need to consider what your returns policy actually is. You will need to include a number of things.
- Conditions for returning a product need to be clearly laid out on your website. There must also be a link to your returns policy all throughout the website, i.e. cart, checkout and product page.
- Make sure you have set a clear time period for when returns are allowed. Even if the product is completely fine, after 30 days, the customer should not be allowed to return a product. This is usually the legally permitted time period.
- Make sure that the damage level whereby it will be rejected as a return is explained and clearly set on your website. If you sell a mug, a scratch where it can’t be seen easily might be okay, but a chip from the rim is not.
Somewhere to go
So when you do receive a return what should you do with it? Well, it has to go somewhere safe, where it can be stored indefinitely and away from prying eyes. Usually, a home business might want to use a garage or perhaps a storage unit. This is perfectly fine but you may also want to use a professional warehouse. Privately run warehouses are becoming more and more common, which is great for the micro-business owner. Not to mention, you should be able to receive return mail from your customers. If you are a B2B provider, then use an online private mailbox. This is where you can store and receive your contracts, documents such as business cases and more.
Obviously, if a customer has ripped open the package of a product, it has to be repackaged and ready to be sent off to a new customer. This is something that needs to be standardized regarding the process.
- Make sure the product is not damaged. Do a physical check for this. Make sure any damage is logged.
- Make sure that the right packaging material is used to repackage the product
- Store it in the right place, ready for it to be sent off without delay.
Returns for a home business are always tricky because you have to balance between receiving the product and revealing where you live. These techniques should help you to have a more reliable and predictable returns policy and method.